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Hagerstown area experiencing 'typical summer weather'

HMTV6's chief meteorologist, said he expects the heat wave will peak Wednesday

July 15, 2013|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com

The heat index hit 101 degrees in the Hagerstown area Monday, and that miserable feeling of being hot and muggy isn’t expected to diminish until Saturday, according to weather officials.

“Pretty much, this is typical summer weather,” National Weather Service meteorologist Howard Silverman said Monday.

Temperatures are a few degrees warmer than normal this time of year, but the area is transitioning into its usual hot summertime pattern, Silverman said.

The heat wave along the East Coast and reaching west into the Mississippi River Valley is due to a “big dome of high pressure” that came inland from the Atlantic Ocean, Silverman said.

The result is a forecast full of high temperatures in the mid-90s and dew points around 70 degrees, he said.

That combination will make it feel like it’s in the upper 90s or close to 100 degrees for a few hours each afternoon, Silverman said.

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The heat index in the Hagerstown area already reached 101 degrees Monday afternoon at 4:11 p.m., according to local weather observer Greg Keefer’s website at http://i4weather.net.

The high temperature Monday was 93.8 degrees at 4:12 p.m.

Kris Nation, HMTV6’s chief meteorologist, said he expects the heat wave will peak Wednesday, with the heat index that day possibly hitting 103 degrees to 105 degrees in the Hagerstown area.

Highs in the mid-90s are not that intense, but a heat index of 100 degrees or more can quickly lead to dehydration, Nation said.

The high-pressure system extends from ground level into the atmosphere, making it tough for clouds to form, so the sun has an unobstructed path as it beats down on the Earth, Silverman said.

“Whenever it gets really hot and really humid, it’s probably a good idea to take it easy. Don’t spend too much time out in the sun,” Silverman said.

For those who are outside, Silverman recommended taking frequent breaks and staying hydrated.

In addition to drinking two to three times more water than normal, Nation recommends people outdoors use sunblock and reapply it as needed.

The UV index for the next few days will be 8 or 9 out of scale that maxes out at 10, Nation said.

Someone who normally sunburns in 20 minutes on a normal day will start to feel that same burn in about seven minutes, he said.

The weather pattern is expected to last through the week, with the first chance of decreasing temperatures coming Saturday. Even then, high temperatures are only expected to drop to about 90 degrees, Silverman said.

The cold front moving in Saturday afternoon could bring storms, with a 30 percent chance of rain, Nation said.

Nation said his extended forecast was calling for a high temperature around 86 degrees Sunday.

A 30 percent to 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms was forecast for the Hagerstown area and West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle on Tuesday afternoon, Silverman said.

But, as usual in the summer, such rain is scattered and not expected to last long, he said.

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